Analysing the cellular spatial architecture of tumours reveals clues about cancer development and treatment
There's great strength in diversity. Unfortunately that applies to cancer as well as people. A major challenge in tackling tumours is their variability, both within tumours and between them. Their unpredictable combination of characteristics makes finding a single effective treatment difficult. Recent studies have described this inconsistency by analysing different cells from tumours, but didn’t precisely locate these definitions within a tumour environment. A new study has characterised the cellular makeup in situ, painting a clear picture of the spatial layout and dynamics. Researchers analysed samples from adjacent non-cancerous tissue (top left), the edge of a tumour (centre), and within the tumour itself (right). They grouped the cells into clusters with common characteristics (bottom row, each unique cluster shown with a different colour). This created a map of a tumour’s diversity and revealed key information about the mechanisms of tumour development, and could improve personalised cancer treatments.
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